When Ridley Scott first announced Prometheus back in 2010, he had fans drooling by divulging in an interview that the story had “strands of Alien’s DNA.” For the sake of the rabid fan boy who just wants to know, we’ll get this part of the review over and done with right now: Prometheus IS a prequel in every single way. And if a film is a prequel, it’s only logical that it will lead into a sequel, right?
Let’s do the obligatory synopsis teaser: Earth crew on a mission guided by an ancient star map, said to be created by the forerunners of Mankind, which lures them in the direction of a planetoid in the Zeta Reticuli system. What follows is the old tale of ‘curiosity killed the cat’ and the crew find themselves under attack from an alien race. Pretty much standard science-fiction fare, if the truth is told.
Where Prometheus does shine is in the concept and setting. There are more muddy vistas and Giger-esque influences to be found than in an issue of OMNI magazine. Naturally, it’s all whizzed up in a blender and lovingly layered with the digital age. The late screening I caught at a London IMAX was in 3D, and while I’m not a fan of such gimmicks, it was difficult not to be blown away by the visuals at times.
Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender both give solid performances – Charlize Theron plays it straight down the line, cold and calculated. It was nice to see Guy Pearce in there briefly too as Peter Weyland of the Weyland Corporation. (Do I need to explain the Weyland-Yutani… oh, you know already, huh?) None of it is flawless acting, mind you, but still entertaining enough to carry you through the two hour duration.
Ridley Scott delivers the piece in a similar style to Alien (not to overdo the references, but it really is of the same stock), but with a radically rebooted theme that does not veer down the taut, butt-clenchingly tight path of the original. The fans will be in familiar territory while the casual cinemagoer will be presented with an interesting puzzle to solve. Visually stunning and honestly delivered, I find it amazing that a man of seventy-four has churned out a film of this caliber in all honesty.
Prometheus is not quite the hype with a bag of chips to boot. I could get picky but they are minor gripes. I did expect something a little different, but at the end of the day it is of the same mythology and that’s that. I’m going to see the film again next week with some friends, so the fact that I’m paying to see it again should tell you that Prometheus is wholly worth it. Grab it while you can because it won’t be the same experience on the small screen.